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Book Fair News - a chance to catch up on the news around the book fairs.


21.12.07. A happy Christmas and peaceful New Year to all our readers and contributors.  Add a comment

20.12.07. Next year's calendar kicks off on January 1st with a Books & Antiques Fair in Hayle, Cornwall. It's the second fair organised by Gill Hollyn of Cormelian in Hayle, and it will become a monthly event once he's sorted out venue complications and confirmed dates. The mix of books to antiques is about 40/60%, which apparently drew a good crowd from across the county to the event in November.   Add a comment

13.12.07. Becky Wears, the PBFA administrator, has just sent us a copy of their finalised calendar for 2008, and I have made the amendments to our database today.
    The number of PBFA dates shows a small fall next year - 112 as against 117 in 2007 - but this represents the smallest decline since the high point of 161 in 2003, and is hopefully a cause for optimism.  Add a comment

08.12.07. The first Hampshire Book Fair to be held in Horndean will be on Sunday 16th of December. This is both a new fair, and the first for its organiser, Nancy Hamilton. She says that there has been tremendous interest from dealers, and hopes this is echoed by members of the public! I'm sure it will be a great success and the first of many. 
    On a sad note, Nancy has just told me about the death two weeks ago of the highly regarded Bill Jackson, who ran the long-established Winchester and Southampton book Fair. He will be missed by many.  Add a comment

29.11.07. Improving accessibility to our book fair data is ongoing, and I hope that the new Show More Options search link will prove to be helpful.
    It's difficult to know how best to display these options, particularly as we are constrained by the need to ensure that the site continues to be highly search engine friendly - so nifty XHTML navigation is a no-no, for the moment at least.  
    I've also decided to keep the Google site search at the foot of the page for as long as most of the editorial, articles, and news items are in the form of static pages. As ever, your comments and suggestions are most welcome.  Add a comment

22.11.07. Chris Missing writes: "December 11th will see the last ever book fair held at Fisher Hall, Cambridge. Fairs have been held on the second Tuesday of each month for well over 25 years. For the last 11 years they have been under the management of Missing Book Fairs, but the owners of the hall have decided that they no longer wish to hire the venue out and so fairs must cease.
    Efforts to find an alternative, affordable, accesible venue in the city centre have proved fruitless. For many years the PBFA ran a fair in the same hall on the last Wednesday of each month, so now Cambridge goes from having two fairs a month to just the annual two day event at the Guildhall.
    Customers (and dealers) from over the years are thanked for their support and invited to come along on the 11th for one last book buying opportunity."  Add a comment

12.11.07. An added attraction at Churchdown Book Fair on December 2nd will be a dislay of bindings from the Cirencester Bookbinding Workshop's Cider With Rosie Project. Students at the workshop have been rebinding 1st editions of Laurie Lee's famous book, in a way that reflects their interpretation of the text. I look forward to seeing the results.  Add a comment

08.11.07. Amongst the books on offer at this weekend's Belfast Book Fair are first editions of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake by James Joyce, first editions of poems by Seamus Heaney, and facsimile sets of the great medieval books of Kells and Durrow ... more  Add a comment

06.11.07. After an impressive run of 35 years the Gerrards Cross book fair heads into the future with a new organiser, David Ford. David hopes that his fresh eye, coupled with the wide range secondhand and antiquarian books, maps and postcards on offer will ensure the fair's continued success. The next is fair on November 10th, when there will also be a bookbinder to advise on looking after those tired treasures.  Add a comment

04.11.07. Nancy Hamilton is organising the first book fair to be held in Horndean, near Portsmouth, on Sunday 16th December. Dealers from Hampshire, Dorset, Sussex and Wiltshire will be offering books on a wide range of subjects - from pocket-money paperbacks to the scarce and collectable.  Add a comment

01.11.07. The ABA Chelsea Bookfair opens on Friday and this year's fair will feature over seventy top dealers from the United Kingdom and overseas. They will bring together under one roof a huge variety of material, ranging in price from just a few pounds to many thousands.
    An added bonus this year is an exhibition entitled The Pre-History of the Motor Car - part of Keith Fletcher's collection of motoring books, prints and ephemera.
    Admission is a fiver but you can obtain a free ticket from the fair website.  Add a comment

29.10.07. Whist I realise that many fair organisers are unable to confirm all their dates until well into the new year, I would urge you all to let us have your finalised dates at the earliest opportunity. We will start work on the 2008 calendar next week, and the intention is to have it populated by December 1st, at the latest.  Add a comment

21.10.07. The PBFA's new website is a huge improvement on it's predecessor, and the rewritten news section reveals that they have a late addition to their calendar - Sheffield on November 17th.  Add a comment

17.10.07. According to the Ibookcollector newsletter, the PBFA Lyme Regis book fair on October 20th has had to be cancelled owing to problems with the venue.  Add a comment

16.10.07. Janet Slack is organising her second fair of the year at Callington, Cornwall, on November 24th. It will offer the same mix of new, secondhand and antiquarian books, entrance is free, and the event will be opened by well known author E.V.Thompson.  Add a comment

12.10.07. The PBFA have moved the date of their Edinburgh fair from 1st December to the 8th December.  Add a comment

08.10.07. Although the Lichfield Book Fair has been absent from the calendar so far this year, Terry Coupland is running one on Thursday December 27th. If the fair is is a success, Terry will try to hold three fairs next year (as there used to be in the past) although he is trying to find a more suitable venue in the centre of Lichfield.  Add a comment

04.10.07. Rare 19th-century copies of plans for a gateway to Aberdeen's railway station were among the items on show at Aberdeen Book Fair at the weekend ... more  Add a comment

01.10.07. 'I went to my first Bookfair in February, and upon entering, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I spent hours, walking up and down the stalls, relishing the choice of out of print books that I had for purchase. It felt so good! The smell, the feel and even the sights of the books, the sellers (so sterotypically booky!) I spent too much that day ... and not enough ... there were so many I "had" to have!! I'm addicated and await with great anticipation the Bath book fair on the 6th of October. This time I'm bringing my husband, I feel the need to share the experience with someone else ... plus he holds the cheque book!' - Annie Shutt.  Add a comment

27.09.07. Phill Robbins baptism as manager of the PBFA's Birmingham Book Fair in March involved rather more water than he would have liked, but undaunted, he sees the fair as going from strength to strength.
    This year's second event, over the weekend of October 19-20th, will see 34 booksellers offering books on almost every subject, including some that are scarce and highly desirable.  Add a comment

20.09.07. Readers and collectors are invited to browse through a vast collection of second-hand and antiquarian books at the PBFA fair in Aberdeen next weekend ... more  Add a comment

20.09.07. Jim Swindell of Jiri Books points out that the Belfast book fair is on November 10th, NOT the 11th, as originally listed.

17.09.07. Peter Dryden is organising the first book and ephemera fair at the Memorial Hall in Pevensey, East Sussex, on Saturday October 20th. Stalls cost £15 for six foot and £25 for twelve foot, and there are still some available. Along with the pubs and restaurants, the village also has a Castle and Museum, all within a short walk of the fair venue. Peter can be contacted on 01323 765915.  Add a comment

14.09.07. The York National Book Fair is open from 12.00 this morning, and you have until 5.00 on Saturday to enjoy the huge variety of books on offer. However, If like me, you are unable to attend this year, you can read about some of the highlights here (scroll down the page until you get to "Highlights at the 2007 fair" link).  Add a comment

11.09.07. Last year The Chelsea Book Fair very successfully flung open its doors to embrace members of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), thus making the Chelsea Book Fair an international event for the first time in its history. Now the word has spread and at the time of going to print, there will be at least 10 overseas booksellers from Germany, France, the United States, Ireland and even Argentina ... more  Add a comment

01.09.07. David Alston writes: "As a former regular visitor to the local (Bromley, Kent) Book Fairs, my wife and I are sorry to note that they appear to be in the decline. I can only think that people, are like me, getting to the age (70's) when collecting much more is physically impossible for lack of space in the home, and/or are coming to use the internet more to dig out their needs for reference. Personally, I use both methods, for both have their attractions, and I hope the day will never come when the joy of handling a book fades. One thing I believe -- the value of a book cannot be counted in cash!".  Add a comment

28.08.07. Please note that the Monmouth PBFA book fair on Sunday September 23rd has been CANCELED.  Add a comment

28.08.07. David Mann says that there are still a couple of tables available at the Taynham Book Fair on 1st September, if anyone wants them.  Add a comment

20.08.07. Jane Millington, whose father Russell Wragg started the Buxton Book Fair twenty-five years ago, has taken over the running of it from Sally and Steve of Mereside Books.
    The fair will continue to be run along similar lines and the only change to note is that they will now finish at 4.30 rather than 5.00.  Add a comment

18.08.07. This morning I received an email from Nigel Boddy stating that the Barnard Castle fair TODAY has been cancelled.
    He says that he sent out cancellation notices (not to us) but apologises to anyone who goes believing it is still on.
    Nigel will not attempt a second fair next year, but the event will continue to be held annually in the spring.  Add a comment

14.08.07. Medical reasons have forced Terry Kaye to reduce the number of fairs he attends, so he has a small stock of about 1,500 books for disposal. The majority relate to cinema, together with theatre, music and a selection from other disciplines within this subject. Categories range from the popular The Films of ... to the pretentiously titled works that academics produce to impress each other." He also has about 3-400 books on the visual arts available. If you are interested give him a call on 020 8202 8188.  Add a comment

13.08.07. I'm back, but as it's still peak holiday season it's not surprising that there's nothing to report on at the moment.  Add a comment

04.08.07. I'm joining the holiday exodus for a week away with my extended family, so no more fairs news until August 13th.  Add a comment

31.0707. Lichfield Methodist Church Centre are holding a Big Book Sale over the weekend of August 10th & 11th. According to Don Male there will be over 5,000 books as well as ephemera, and admission is free.
    I would remind organisers of charity and not-for -profit book sales that listings are free, and details of sales can be found by clicking the link in the left-hand navigation column.  Add a comment

18.0707. Nigel Boddy is holding his second book fair this year at Barnard Castle in County Durham on August 18th. Stalls are £10.00 and there are still some available.
    This is perhaps a good opportunity to remind organisers that early notification of dates is recommenced, as our feedback suggests that many fair visitors make decisions about which fairs to attend months in advance of the event.  Add a comment

12.0707. At a time when reports from the fairs are mixed (to say the least) it's encouraging to see a number of tired fairs being taken over by new organisers, and occasionally, completely new fairs.
    Steve & Hilary Lloyd are recent entrants who have continued to expand the Isle of Wight fairs they took over in 2006. The most recent addition being a Book, Postcard & Ephemera Fair in Bembridge on July 22nd. They should have about ten dealers, and we wish them the best of luck.  Add a comment

01.0707. As reported in May, Steve Marshall of the Pantiles Bookshop has taken over the running of Tunbridge Book Fair, which returns to the old venue of Warwick Park for it's first date on July 21st. Steve is confident that returning to a central location -- close to the 400 year old Pantiles and Corn Exchange with their unique shops, bars and restaurants -- combined with six shops selling secondhand books, will help rebuild the fair's popularity. Twenty dealers will offer a wide range of quality books, and it's hoped there will be further dates this year.  Add a comment

26.06.07. Barry Shaw's traditional London June book fair autopsy, for the first time in the newly reborn Bookdealer magazine, broadly confirms what I had heard from the dealers I had spoken to. He writes: "... with downward pressure on lower end prices and the absence of a significant overseas presence, only a real optimist would believe that they have not lost ground".
    George Jeffery's comment that, "Being in London used to be an advantage", will chime with those who now question the economics of standing during the capital's June book fair week.  Add a comment

17.06.07. My elderly mother has been taken into hospital, so no updates until I return from visiting her -- hopefully towards the end of the week.  Add a comment

12.06.07. I spoke to a number of dealers who stood at the Novotel PBFA fair, at the beginning of London's traditional June book fair week. Their view was that sales - both to the public and trade - were rather disappointing. I suspect that the trend towards high-end sales dominating these events continues, to the detriment of the more modest books and ephemera on offer.
    What do you think?  I'm always interested to read impressions from both sides of the table, so if you stood at, or you visited any of the London fairs, please drop us a line.   Add a comment
    Yes, I tend to agree. Quality a bit poor in range and price, even the military book fair was disappointing fewer dealers etc. Not the fairs they were. Can we have some fairs where the cream not been taken out, and some actual rare books, in good condition are available! - Philip Elmes.

04.06.07. The emergence of a previously unpublished letter has given a fresh insight into the pain that was felt by PG Wodehouse at his depiction as a wartime traitor. Priced at £1,600, the letter will be for sale by Nigel Williams Rare Books at this week's Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia West London ... more  Add a comment

01.06.07. OK, so it's not a secondhand or antiquarian book fair, but the arrival of the "Floating Bookfair" may be of interest to some. The 356ft MV Logos II - with over 500,000 books in its hold - is due to dock at Portland Port on June 28 ... more  
Add a comment

19.05.07. I'm on holiday until the end of the month, so there will be no more fairs news until early June. Please continue to send in your comments and updates in my absence, and I will add them as quickly as possible on my return.  Add a comment

17.05.07. Bob Broadway has cancelled his remaining Tunbridge Wells dates, as well as his June East Grinstead fair. Steve Marshall of the Pantiles Bookshop will take over the running of the Tunbridge fair -- for which he is currently seeking a new venue -- and hopes that the first event will be held some time in July.  Add a comment

15.05.07. Rain failed to deter Edinburgh book lovers, who queued from 6.30am outside the Parish Church of St Andrew and St George in anticipation of the 10am opening of the famous Book Sale. By 9.45am the queue snaked past a couple of bus stops right down to St Andrew's square ... more  Add a comment

11.05.07. A rare first edition of "Vanity Fair", the 1828 satirical novel by William Makepeace Thackery, is one of the highlights at the UK's biggest annual charity book fair, which opens in Edinburgh tomorrow ... more  Add a comment

10.05.07. A grotesque caricature of a fat, tattooed woman who inspired Sir Edward Burne-Jones to put pen to paper after he spotted her in Brighton in the 1890s, is among previously unseen drawings to be offered at the June Antiquarian Book Fair ... more  Add a comment

03.05.07. I've just added David Derbyshire's Hoghton book fair, which this year has eighteen dealers standing and will be held on July 21st.  Add a comment

26.04.07. John Collins has organised an additional date for his Faversham book fair - Saturday September 22nd.  Add a comment

25.04.07. Colin Baker has agreed to take over the running of the monthly book fair at Sherborne from Brian Basden, who has to give it up for personal reasons. Colin says that Brian has given up everything book related, so he's certain that Shaftesbury book fair has folded.  Add a comment

14.04.07. Library sales in the UK are mostly low key affairs. Not so in the USA, where some book buyers have become so aggressive and boorish that Eugene's annual Friends of the Library book sale is changing its rules ... more  Add a comment

03.04.07. Cornwall sees a new book fair at Callington Town Hall on Saturday, May 26th. Organiser Janet Slack says there will be some 23 tables of antiquarian & secondhand books, and the fair will be opened by best selling writer Veronica Henry.  Add a comment

03.04.07. I'm pleased to say that I was misinformed about the loss of the Cirencester PBFA fairs - they are both still on. The reason that I couldn't find them when I checked the PBFA's own site, is that they have Cirencester listed in the Midlands, rather than the South West where I expected to find it. Mea Culpa.  Add a comment

20.03.07. As Easter falls on the second Sunday of April this year, Peter Sheridan has asked me to point out that the Bloomsbury Bookfair at the Royal National Hotel, will be held on Sunday 1st April. According to Peter there are now over 100 exhibitors, including several Map dealers.  Add a comment

12.03.07. This year Jude Haslam's Richmond Book Fair will be held over the weekend of September 29th & 30th. As restoration work on the station continues it will be held at the Kings Head Hotel, and there are still a few tables available.  Add a comment

08.03.07. Steve Marshall's first Darent Valley Book Fair held in Otford was such a success that he had to book another room to accommodate the dealers wishing to stand at the next one, on April 14th.  Add a comment

06.03.07. Next year the the PBFA's Harrogate fair will celebrate 30 years of bookselling in the town with a move to the Pavilions at the Great Yorkshire Showground ... more  Add a comment

04.03.07. We've finally made the change to a PSP driven online database to serve the Book Fairs Calendar. Inexplicably, a few fairs disappeared during the transfer, and we are now in the process of adding these manually. If you notice any anomalies, or missing data, please contact us.  Add a comment

28.02.07. Trinity College Dublin's annual fundraising book sale will be held on April 19 - 21 this year. The remainder the 25,000 donated books will be sold at at half the marked price on the last day, and all proceeds go to support the purchase of research materials by College Libraries.  Add a comment

26.02.07. David Mann says that their are still a couple of tables available at the Teynham Book Fair on Saturday 3rd March.  Add a comment

20.02.07. We are far from infallible, which is why we always ask organisers to check their dates when we add them, but an occasional error gets through. So I'm grateful to Brian Basden for pointing out that Churchdown book fair is on Sunday 4th of March NOT the 6th.  Add a comment

13.02.07. February 18th sees the long established Hatfield House book fair move a few miles up the road to another stately home, Knebworth House.     Chris Missing, the fairs organiser says: "Moving to Knebworth gives us the capacity for even more exhibitors, whilst maintaining the distinctive feel of the fair."  Add a comment

13.02.07. John Collins says that his New Faversham Book Fair on Saturday 17th February will be bigger and better than pervious fairs, with many more booksellers attending.  Add a comment

12.02.07. The Bernwode Amnesty Group are holding a BIG BOOK SALE in aid of Amnesty International, on February 17th at the Brill Memorial Hall.  Add a comment

10.02.07. Following a hiatus due to the appointment of Chris Peachment as the new editor of Book and Magazine Collector, TheBookGuide's event diary will reappear in the April issue.  
    I know April seems a long way off, but the press deadline is February 15th, so if you have any ammendments to your dates, please let us have them as soon as possible.  Add a comment

07.02.07. Stephen Cook reports that his new Long Melford book fairs are proving popular, with 27 exhibitors at the last event, and the February 10th date over subscribed. He says, "There was a lot of positive comment from visiting public and trade (200 through the door in January despite really terrible weather) many saying they'd be back and would be telling their friends. We are much encouraged."   Add a comment

06.02.07. Nigel Boddy is holding his first book fair in Barnard Castle on Saturday 10th. He says that there will be 19 stalls showing the stock of bookshops from all over the north of England. There is good disabled access to Hall and free on street parking right outside the front door.  Add a comment

31.01.07. Phill Robbins is the new organiser of the two day PBFA antiquarian and collectable book fair in Birmingham, on the 2nd & 3rd of March. There's plenty of free parking, excellent refreshments and entry is a quid. He says they will be "eternally gratefull" if I give it a mention - but somehow I doubt it. :)  Add a comment

26.01.07. Epsom Methodist Church are holding their annual charity book fair over the weekend of February 15th & 17th. Last year they had in excess of 50,000 books, but if you want to get in to the trade preview on Thursday night, it will cost you a tenner.
    I refuse to attend a charity sale which charges £10 for a chance to buy the best books. I have informed the organisers of my view when I replied to their 'invitation'. I also told them that I would donate a large number of books if the £10 charge were dropped. Keith Alexander 30.01.07.  Add a comment

23.01.07. The Sevenoaks book fair has been given a new name and address by Steve Marshall, as part of his plans to rejuvenate the event. It's now known as the Darent Valley Book Fair and will be held in Otford Village Hall. The first fair is on February 10th.
    I wish Steve the best of luck with the new fair. Keith Alexander.   Add a comment

16.01.07. Tony Mulholland will be holding the first book fair in Rye for some years, on Saturday 1st December 2007. He says that the 30 dealers standing will be both local and from London and Kent. They will offer a range of quality books, and hopefully, some ephemera.
    Good luck with the new fair. - Keith Alexander.  Add a comment

08.01.07. The revised Book Fair Calendar is finally up! I won't bore you with the catalogue of computer woes we have suffered since Christmas - lets just say that it's been both time consuming and expensive.
    On the upside, you will find that we have added more than fifty dates which have come in during the past week.  Add a comment

03.01.07. After replacing cables and the router it now seems that the mother board of one of our computers is on the blink ... unfortunately it's the one that's currently home to all the fairs data!
     I'm afraid this means further delay in updating the calendar, but hopefully it will be sorted by the weekend.  Add a comment

03.01.07. On a happier note -- Jude Haslam reports that the renovation work to Richmond Station is well under way, with completion sometime in the Autumn. The fairs held there proved to be popular, and she looks forward to holding more events in due course. She can be contacted on 01748 818729.  Add a comment

02.01.07. Our intranet is still down, so I am unable to update the calendar. Hopefully it will be fixed tomorrow.  Add a comment

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